Tuesday, October 22, 2013

HOLY VISUALS!

Suggested Reading: Psalms 101-102

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

The Church of the Holy Apostles in Athens, Greece, is often covered with birds that fly over the ruins of the ancient agora (close-up photo below). Today's reading tells us of "A sparrow alone on the housetop." These Athenian pigeons are not lonely birds.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Psalms 101:3a, 102:27

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…

But You are the same and Your years will have no end.

 

We are bombarded with all kinds of evil things. It seems impossible to avoid seeing vile images. It may seem that we cannot open our eyes without seeing some moral corruption. We do, however, have a choice of what we view. When we watch some TV programs, we are just asking for trouble, because whatever we feed our minds, particularly through the eyegate, if it is not positive and good, will inevitably infect our thoughts and sometimes our actions in a way displeasing to our holy God! The opposite, good thoughts and actions, can happen from watching 100 Huntley Street and other productions which please God! Psalm 101 was written by King David. It’s possible that Bathsheba knew exactly what she was doing when she took a bath on her rooftop in full view of David’s balcony, which was located just up the hill above her home. David, when he wrote the words of this Psalm, may have been thinking of the great damage he caused because he gave in to visual temptation and committed adultery (2 Samuel 11). We must repent of our carelessness, guarding our hearts and minds, keeping our eyes on the Lord and those things of which He approves, and keeping our minds in His holy Word.

In Psalm 102 we find a writer who feels very much alone, as is evident from the metaphors of the birds. Thinking of this temporary life here on earth causes him to remember that God is eternal! The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews quotes from this Psalm and refers to Jesus (Hebrews 1:10-12). We can be encouraged because Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!” I find myself singing softly, so as to not wake up Norma-Jean, the beautiful prayer hymn, “Abide With Me.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, thank You that the words of the hymn are true: “Change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changes not, abide with me” (click here for a rendition of “Abide With Me”). This is my prayer, O Lord! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I find that the sight of a bird all alone is sad. Two birds together (many kinds mate for life) or a flock of birds is a joyful scene, like the birds on the church roof in today’s photos. Norma-Jean and I watch for people who appear lonely and try to include them in our lives in some way. I’ve often heard my wife say something like, “She looks lonely, let’s invite her for a coffee.” Sometimes through the years, she has brought people home for a meal and for fellowship. I was saying to Dr. John Hull yesterday afternoon that our television ministry gives us the amazing opportunity of visiting right there in the homes of our viewers. It really is the next best thing to a personal visit!

Over 500,000,000 tablets and iPads have been sold around the world so far this year. That figure would not include laptop computers and smart phones. Dr. Jerry Johnston, our Crossroads USA Executive Director, tells me he reads this blog first thing every morning on his iPhone before he does anything else. There are several billion visual devices in use around the world. Think of the potential for seeing vile and evil things! Crossroads is doing its best to fill those screens with the opposite…beautiful words and visuals. Norma-Jean and I do our best to support all the God-given visions of Crossroads, as well as several other ministries. I urge everyone to do the same! Click here for a recent word from CEO Dr. John Hull on the Crossroads vision to provide for the viewing of holy alternatives, in order to “OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD!!! (Romans 12:21b).

Yours for viewing, reading, and hearing good, holy, uplifting things!

David

P.S. Here is an example of one of those good things. Crossroads is helping the Salvation Army produce a new media-based Sunday School curriculum called “Ready To Serve.” The old fashioned Sunday School quarterlies, which I studied in a Salvation Army Sunday School as a child, don’t do the job adequately any more. In most churches, Sunday School attendance is seriously down. This is why the S.A. approached Crossroads for help. Below is a picture of the series cast on one of the sets, located in our Studio “B” at the Crossroads Centre. Our faithful ministry supporters make many holy productions possible! Because of these tremendous productions, we can predict the opposite to our first key verse. Here’s what we can state, because of Crossroads and our partners, “I will set good, positive, wholesome things before my eyes!!!” Everyone pray for God’s blessing on this and the many other initiatives in which Crossroads is involved.

The cast of "Ready To Serve." Notice the "S" on the jacket of the young lady on the right. The "cool" officer at the back is a great communicator of good things in the new Salvation Army Christian Education curriculum.

 

Birds on the Church of the Holy Apostles in Athens Greece. Because of strong and good teaching, the Greeks did not give in to islamic conversions during approximately 300 years of moslem rule. The church is an integral component in the every day life of the greek people.

26 thoughts on “Tuesday, October 22, 2013

  1. The readings today bring home the reality of God being the same today as yesterday and future, through all generations. Also, the fact that there are both polluted and pristine from which we can choose to swim in. Our minds are like a magnet. Whatever we choose to attract, we attract, and then we become as we believe. Proverbs 23:7a “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Lord help us to remember, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phil 4:8 NLT. Have a great day, to all!

    • Amen David. It took many years after becoming a Christian to fully accept the truth of what you put into your mind does play a role in how you live out your life. I was once told: “garbage in, garbage out.” So true. Thanks for sharing these verses.

  2. The mind is a great computer filling it with data from our entire life , Lord give us yhe mind of Christ to set our thouhhts on you and holy things guard our thoughts and think on posative things to have a posative life , for ehen we dwell on the negative we will have a negative life
    Set your minds on what honors God and keep them set
    I love the song about the sparrow
    God sees the little sparrow fall its means His tender view
    If God so loves the little birds I know He loves me too
    He loves me to
    He loves me to
    I know He loves me too
    If God s eye are on a tiny little sparrow and meetsall his needs how much more will our heavenly father take care of us
    Keep our eyes upon Jesus
    So we won t sin against you and thank you Father for healing David Mainse and giving him ststrength in Jesus name Amen
    Bless every person who participates in this blog and help them to keep their eyes upon you Amen and Amen

  3. Thank you to every one at Crossroads for bringing positive words and pictures to watch. This is God honouring media!!
    Blessings to all.

  4. Thank you David for your insights and teaching .,.. Your Blog is the first one I read each morning when I rise . They give me strength and encouragement to face each day , without fear and with wisdom .,., I sense the spirit of God in each teaching /blog and understand more and more …. :Love is ageless

    Be encouraged, !

  5. At our place we once had a mourning dove who seemed to be always by herself– we nicknamed her “the widow”. We would watch all the other doves line up and sit on a hydro line or trees but “the widow” would always be a little further away from them all. When they came to our feeder, the other doves chased her away, and we often tried to put food down somewhere where the other birds could see, so she might get a chance to get some seed too. If birds have feelings I wager this bird felt very lonely, as lonely as we all do at times. In the midst of some of my loneliest moments I have always heard a still small voice within say– “You’re not alone, I am right here, I will never leave you.” The dove we called the widow hung around for a couple of years, we haven’t seen her for a while, not sure if she died or just found a flock to join and moved on– but I don’t think I will ever forget that bird, just like God doesn’t forget a single one of us.

  6. What you shared today, David and fellow bloggers has been impressed on my mind for some time. Thank God for 100 Huntley St. which I have watched from the onset and other Christian ones. Brothers and sisters, would you please pray for me about help for my snow removal this year(snowblowing and roof raking) as my doctor advised me yesterday to get help this year which is hard to find out here in the country. Thank you. The Lord gave me help during the summer with mowing and I need His help again. God bless you today.

    • Lord, God, we know that You have all the answers to every situation our sister, Ger, faces, living in New Brunswick. We pray that You align her with the right person(s) to take care of her snow removal needs this winter, Lord. We lift her up before you, Lord, for she is a good and faithful servant. In Jesus name we pray, amen, amen, and amen.

    • Heavenly Father you know exactly the person who could help Ger this winter with the snow removal and so I pray you will have that person get in touch with Ger and be there to help in the areas she needs. Thank you for Ger’s faithfulness in serving you and I pray she will continue to get stronger each day.

  7. Praise Changes Things

    “Nothing so pleases God in connection with our prayer and our praise, and nothing so blesses the man who prays as the praise which he offers. I got a great blessing once in China in this connection. I had received bad and sad news from home, and deep shadows had covered my soul. I prayed, but the darkness did not vanish. I summoned myself to endure, but the darkness only deepened. Just then I went to an inland station and saw on the wall of the mission home these words: ‘Try Thanksgiving.’ I did, and in a moment every shadow was gone, not to return. Yes, the psalmist was right. ‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.'” Rev. Henry W. Frost,
    p. 244, Aug 4, Streams in the Desert, Cowman.

    Praising You, Lord, for all Your glory! Wishing saints a blessed day!

  8. I visited Athens in 2000. I was very upset one night and was walking through an area on a hill that had restaurant patios. The place was empty. Total solitude. I think it was near Mars Hill. Then, at the top of a hill, there was a church. I walked around to the back and there was a rocky cliff and a bell tower. It started to rain so I stepped into the bell tower. Then, thinking of my trouble, I thought, why are You letting this happen to me? At the exact moment, lightning struck a lightning rod on the church.

  9. Athens in 2000 was remarkable for the presence of faith and also for it’s vulgar pornography. Lines of tens of thousands of people, for days, waited to pray at a relic of a saint. The line was more than a kilometer long. Also, most households in Athens displayed somewhere a crucifix. Yet, hustler style magazines showing vulgar pictures of naked women were prominent at every street corner. This contradictition has to be partly hypochrisy (to act as if in a play) and partly the real legacy of the apostles.

  10. Lord God your word says you are our provider, I pray You provide Ger with the help she needs to get the snow shoveled and all that is required for her to be able to live in her home.
    Thank you Lord your word says You know all our needs and You answer even before we call. Thank you for your provision for Ger, In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray…Amen!!

  11. Dear Rev David M,

    So grateful for the Lord directing me to Crossroads many years ago. It truly saved me from so much confusion, darkness and finally brought me to that precious wonderful one-to-one intimacy with Jesus Christ. I still remember Ann’s beautiful face, wonderful smile, telling us at the end of an episode: ”it’s all about Jesus”.

    So let’s keep our eyes focused on Him, knowing that we do live in a world full of darkness in desperate need of His Light.

    I’m sharing with you all one of my very favorite gospel songs, ”Awesome”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHl_ASJ6lDs

    P.S.: Ger, may the Lord provide you with all your winter needs! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    Have a blessed day everyone!

    xxxxCarole

  12. I just returned from our church prayer meeting and got online here and want to thank all of you for praying for me, and you know who you are. You know I felt the effects of your prayers already, as I found someone, after two years to come and fix my treadmill which I really need this winter, and someone at tonight’s meeting said he will come and reinforce one of my roofs. Praise God, your prayers are such a a blessing! God bless all of you.

  13. Brenda, thank you for offering to come and rake my roof but you probably have read now that I live in N.B. Thanks so much for the offer. What a family we are!

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